Help Us Improve Pioneer Park This Year | Salt Lake City | Utah

We need your help. Please donate today to help build a great lawn, sports field, and lighting at Pioneer Park. We have committed $300,000 to Salt Lake City to help with this construction and we have $65,000 left to raise by July 11.

Update: We have $47,320 left to go, as of July 9 at 1 pm.

Help Us Improve Pioneer Park This Year!

We founded the Pioneer Park Coaltion a little over four years ago to help make our park and our neighborhood safe and inviting to all. To accomplish this, we first needed to address issues related to drugs, crime, and homeless services. In that short time, thanks to your efforts and the efforts of many others, we have seen decisionmakers commit to revamping homeless services, commit to replacing the downtown shelter, and instigating Operation Rio Grande. Our neighborhood is changing.

But to reach our vision of a safe and inviting neighborhood, we still have work to do.

Pioneer Park is the key to the next steps in this effort. If the park becomes a place where all members of the public feel comfortable, this will have significant positive effects on our neighborhood. We see this every Saturday with the Farmers Market.

In 2015, the Pioneer Park Coalition started an effort, with the City and other partners, to redesign the park. The City wants to implement part of that vision this year by constructing a great lawn and sports field in the center of the park. We hope that this is the first step towards major changes at the park.

We committed $300,000 to help make this happen. We have raised most of those funds already but we still have $65,000 left to go. We could be on the hook to write a check to the City as early as July 11. Please help us get there.

Your dollars will have immediate impact and will help make our park more inviting to the public. Please donate today.


Outdoor Summer Concerts in Salt Lake City | Community Feature

Outdoor Summer Concerts in Salt Lake City

When the warm summer nights arrive, Salt Lake City residents get to savor them at outdoor summer concerts. This year, you’ll have the chance to enjoy these summer events at a number of venues including Red Butte Garden, the River’s Edge Campground in Heber and the Sandy amphitheater. Check out a list of some of our picks for 2018 outdoors summer concerts in Salt Lake City.

Retro Futura at Red Butte Garden

Retro Futura is one of many summer concerts in Salt Lake City

On Friday, July 20, Red Butte Garden will be hosting Retro Futura, which is a premiere ‘80s outdoor summer concert, one featuring performances by Belinda Carlisle, Modern English and Annabella from the Bow Wow Wows. Attending is like taking a step back in time since you’ll be dancing to tunes like Heaven is a Place on Earth, I Melt with You and I Want Candy.

Bonanza at the River’s Edge Campground

Bonanza is one of many summer concerts near Salt Lake City Utah

To hear something from current artists, consider buying tickets to Bonanza. This music, art and camping festival will have you rocking out to music by Halsey, Wiz Khalifa and Phantogram. Held at Heber City’s River’s Edge Campground, you can immerse yourself in the festival by camping out and spending the entire June 22 through June 24 weekend listening to 2018’s latest and greatest hits.

Eminence Ensemble

Eminence Ensemble is performing at SnowbirdPerforming June 30 during the Snowbird Cool Air Concert Series, which is free musical entertainment provided by the resort, Eminence Ensemble is a progressive fivesome who performs rock fusion music. Featuring a jazzy, modern vibe, an evening spent in the presence of Eminence Ensemble may inspire you to get your inner hipster on.

ABBA The Concert: A Tribute to ABBA with the Utah Symphony

Abba The Concert with the Utah Symphony

If you just can’t get enough of the ‘70s, (and, really, who can?) buy tickets for this tribute concert. It will be held on July 13 at Deer Valley Snow Park Lodge in the outdoor amphitheater. From Dancing Queen to Take a Chance on Me, you’ll have the opportunity to hear all of the band’s hits. This is the perfect way to get ready for ABBA’s new tunes.

Summers are Designed for Outdoor Concerts

Whether you choose to attend a show featuring music from your past or a concert where you can dance it out to today’s hits, outdoor summer concerts in Salt Lake give you something fun to do. An outdoor concert may even become one of those memories, you know the ones that you and your peeps discuss for years.

Downtown Farmers Market | Salt Lake City | 2018 Preview

Downtown Farmers Market | Salt Lake City | 2018 Preview

Entering its 27th year, the Downtown Farmers Market is one of those events that the city’s residents look forward to all year. Not only is this a beloved event, but it is also one that works to promote and support local farms and small businesses. Distributors who attend the market can offer their products to the public directly.

Downtown farmers market Salt Lake City

Opening Soon

Vendors will begin selling their products at the farmers market starting on June 9. It runs until October 20, and it will take place every Saturday from 8 am to 2 pm. To start the event, coordinators are holding a kick-off party, which is happening May 31 from 5:30 pm to 8:30 pm. The kick-off party will be at Squatters Pub Brewery. Tickets are available online.

PC: Dav D Photo

A Peek at What’s Available

The Downtown Farmers Market will have fruits, vegetables, honey, grass-fed meats, eggs and flowers for sale. You can also get goodies like baked treats, sauces, spreads and salsas. Tasty cheese is sold at the market as are nuts and specialty sodas. You can visit the market for lunch while taking home fresh produce and baked goods to make dinner. Non-edible items are also sold at the Downtown Farmer’s Market. Items in this category include handmade soaps, jewelry and decorative glass, as well other handcrafted in Salt Lake items like essential oils from The Original Oil Shop.

The Original Oil Shop at Downtown Farmers Market Salt Lake City

Not Just a Saturday Thing

The Downtown Farmers Market in Salt Lake City has been successful enough to expand. Organizers will be hosting the event on Tuesday evenings from 4:00 pm to sundown. The Tuesday option will start August 1 and end on October 17. While the Tuesday event isn’t quite as big as the Saturday market, you will be able to stop by for fresh produce and food products.

fresh produce at the Salt Lake downtown farmers market at Pioneer Park

Supporting Local Businesses

The Gateway is offering free parking for those who are planning to shop at the market. There is also a produce loading zone, making it easy to buy fruit or vegetables in bulk if you intend to can or are hosting a big party that will feature food. The Downtown Farmers Market is a fun place to spend a few hours. Along with discovering the tasty food items that are available in your neck of the woods, the market will also introduce you to the area’s different products. Head downtown to enjoy a unique experience.

Crime in Salt Lake City | Operation Rio Grande | Part 2

Crime in Salt Lake City | Operation Rio Grande | Part 2

By Abby Warr and David Garbett

Last month the Pioneer Park Coalition blogged about select crime data for Salt Lake City to see what that might tell us about the effect, if any, of Operation Rio Grande. That post generated plenty of discussions and questions. We thought that some of those questions deserved a second post; this is our follow up.

First, a quick recap.

In our earlier blog we reviewed on our city’s crime rates from 2013 through 2017 for select neighborhoods. We focused on activities that Operation Rio Grande was intended to address.[1] While this crime data cannot answer definitively what is causing or reducing crime, it can at least give us some clues about trends and likely impacts. The good news is that overall crime rates in the city are down, rates in the Pioneer Park/Rio Grande area are way down, and we did not detect any significant crime dispersal. Here is our helpful graphic:

Crime in Salt Lake City after Operation Rio Grande

Some people wondered how we chose these neighborhoods. We selected them based on where we heard Operation Rio Grande may have pushed crime. Namely, the North Temple corridor (“Fairpark” and “Rose Park” on the graphic), Sugar House, Ball Park, Central City, the Avenues, and the Liberty Park area (“Liberty-Wells” and “Central City/Liberty Wells”). Of course, we also wanted to know what happened in our area (“Downtown”).

Overall, the data paints a positive picture but not everything is roses. We did not see commensurate crime drops in the Liberty-Wells area—though the levels after Operation Rio Grande were still within their rates for the 2013-2017 period—we also wrote about some troubling upticks in reported rapes.

Second, yes, crime really is down in Salt Lake.

While we wrote that crime had dropped in Salt Lake City, some people still wondered whether this was the case. To be clear, overall crimes in Salt Lake City are down, and down significantly—as low as they have been in the five-year period we analyzed. To reinforce this point, we have reproduced aggregate crime data for the city as a whole—of those crimes likely related to Operation Rio Grande—and updated it through March of 2018 in this graphic below:

Crime in Salt Lake City post Operation Rio Grande

Third, what is happening in the rest of Salt Lake City’s neighborhoods?

 We have talked about the forest, but what about specific trees? Many people wanted to know what was happening in the city neighborhoods our first post did not address. We apologize if you felt left out by this; it was not our intent to ignore neighborhoods. We were trying to focus on what we thought might be the hot spots. To address this, we ran the numbers for the remaining Salt Lake neighborhoods from January of 2013 through the end of 2017 to get an apples-to-apples comparison. Here are those neighborhoods—along with the Pioneer Park/Rio Grande area, listed as “Downtown,” for context:

Crime in downtown Salt Lake City after Operation Rio Grande

And since there is so much going on in the graphic above, here is a version with the “Downtown” area removed:

Crime around Salt Lake City after Operation Rio Grande

There are a few takeaways from this mixed picture. Crime rates in the remaining neighborhoods are still dwarfed by crime in the area that includes the Pioneer Park/Rio Grande area. In addition, our first analysis caught the three most problematic areas for crime in the aggregate: Sugar House, Central City, and Ball Park.

But a lower level of crime does not mean no crime. Some of the remaining Salt Lake City neighborhoods did not see crime drop after Operation Rio Grande. Perhaps the most troubling is Poplar Grove. Crime there at the end of 2017 was as bad as at any time in the five-year period we analyzed. While some of the other neighborhoods see-sawed—as is typical—after Operation Rio Grande and may have even seen crime rates increase, none of them ended 2017 at, or tied for, a five-year peak.

Though Operation Rio Grande did not push crime rates in any neighborhood above historic rates in our five-year analysis, there was not a commensurate drop throughout the entire city. It is understandable that some neighborhoods are feeling consternation about current trends.

Fourth, did Operation Rio Grande push the homeless out?

We don’t know. Neither our first blog post nor this post attempts to address the question of whether Operation Rio Grande chased people experiencing homelessness out of the Pioneer Park/Rio Grande neighborhood. We do not discount this possibility; it would be nice to know this and we hope that it has not. But we have not found a satisfactory way to measure and analyze this question. Because of common pitfalls related to human observation (i.e. we see more of the things we focus on, even though the number of those things has not changed) we lack high confidence in much of the information out there.

There probably has been some dispersal. We have heard from residents throughout the city that they are seeing more people clearly experiencing homelessness. We have also heard this from some homeless outreach teams and first responders.

On the flip side, homeless services providers in the Pioneer Park/Rio Grande neighborhood are reporting that they have not seen any appreciable drop in clients, post-Operation Rio Grande. It is hard to understand how these numbers have remained stable if people needing services have left the area.


Operation Rio Grande has had a significant, positive impact on crime in Salt Lake City and the Pioneer Park/Rio Grande area. There is still work to be done, however, here and throughout the city. Poplar Grove would be a good place to start.

[1] Specifically, we analyzed both serious crime (aggravated assault, burglary, rape/sexual assault, homicide, larceny/theft, motor vehicle theft, and robbery) and non-serious crime (curfew/loitering, disorderly conduct, drug abuse, stolen property, vandalism, and drunkenness). We passed on crimes such as embezzlement, forgery, etc. because we felt they were less likely to be connected with the problematic behavior in the Rio Grande area and wanted our story to be more precise. Our data was collected from in February 2018 for the first blog post and April 2018 for this blog post.

Summer Festivals in Salt Lake | Pioneer Park Coalition

Salt Lake continues to grow, and while this isn’t making the city’s commute any better, it is bringing fun new events to the area. This year, the summer festivals are diverse, offering something for everyone. Here are a few of the best summer festivals in Salt Lake.

Summer Festivals in Salt Lake

Lantern Fest

If you like festivals that are awe-inspiring, then make plans to go to the Lantern Fest. When you see thousands of lanterns floating into the sky, the sight will surely be one that you remember forever. The lanterns are biodegradable, so you don’t have to feel guilty about pollution, and people release them because they are a sign of good fortune. They’re released to fill the night sky with people’s hopes and dreams along with their regrets.The lantern fest is a summer festival in Salt Lake

Vintage Market Days

From May 3 to May 5, the Vintage Market Days will be taking place in Farmington. Be sure to stop by if you need antiques, original art or handmade items. The event will also feature vintage clothing, baked goods and plants. If you like one-of-a-kind décor, then the Vintage Market Days is the place to go.Vintage Market Days is a summer festival in Salt Lake

Holi Festival of Colors

Originating from traditional festivals held in India, the Holi Festival of Colors invites people to celebrate the simple things in life. Go to the event to enjoy the live music, dance and eat. You can even participate in a yoga class. This year’s event will be held on June 9, and it will be at the Kirshna Temple.The Holi Festival Of Colors is one of the many summer festivals in Salt Lakei

Taylorsville Dayzz

If you enjoy traditional carnivals, then you’ll want to put this festival on your list of things to do this summer. Taylorsville has been holding its Dayzz festival for years, and each year, it seems to get a little bit bigger and better. While there, you’ll be entertained with rides, food and music.Taylorsville Dayzz is one of many summer festivals in Salt Lake

Scottish Festival

This June, the bagpipes come to town. Take an afternoon to wander around the Scottish festival. At the event, you’ll have the opportunity to dine on traditional Scottish cuisine. The festival also features Scottish dancing and food. Classic attire and other items will be available. You’ll also have the chance to see some of the country’s sporting events. This includes log throws, haybale pitches and weight tosses.

Scottish Festival is one of Utah's many festivals in Salt LakeFestivals Make Summer Fun

To make this summer memorable, consider spending time at some of the season’s festivals. Along with getting the opportunity to enjoy one-of-a-kind experiences, you’ll also have the chance to dine on tasty cuisine and purchase unique items.

Crime in Salt Lake City Neighborhoods Drops Since Operation Rio Grande

Our awesome Pioneer Park Coalition intern, Abby Warr, dug deep to discover the truth about crime in Salt Lake City since Operation Rio Grande.

Crime in Salt Lake City and its Neighborhoods Has Dropped Since Operation Rio Grande

By Abby Warr

Some critics have alleged that Operation Rio Grande, an effort to address lawlessness and crime in Salt Lake City’s Pioneer Park/Rio Grande neighborhood, has only served to push violence elsewhere in the city. Given that over six months have passed since this effort started and the increased availability of crime statistics, the Pioneer Park Coalition decided to dig into the data to evaluate this claim.

Aggregate crime data from throughout Salt Lake City—both before and after Operation Rio Grande—does not support this criticism. To the contrary, police data from 2013 through the completion of 2017 shows that aggregated crime rates dropped significantly downtown—where Operation Rio Grande is focused—and have also dropped throughout the city. Operation Rio Grande appears to have been a huge net positive for Salt Lake City.

Crime in Salt Lake City graph since Operation Rio Grande

The Good News: Crime Is Down

Statistics show that aggregate crime has been falling steadily in Salt Lake City as a whole since 2015, and the total analyzed crimes committed are at the lowest point since 2013.[1] Downtown, where the majority of Operation Rio Grande’s efforts have taken place, has experienced a significant drop with the total analyzed crimes committed being at the lowest point since 2014. There is no general uptick in crime after Operation Rio Grande and most Salt Lake City neighborhoods have seen their crime rates continue to fall, even after Operation Rio Grande began.[2]

Operation Rio Grande began in August of 2017. Crime levels during the period of August through December of 2017 have been relatively consistent with overarching trends—that is to say, headed down.

Almost All Crimes Have Decreased

Most specific crimes experienced an overall decrease after Operation Rio Grande. However, there are a few crimes that have not followed that trend and deserve further attention from law enforcement.

Aggravated assault, burglary, theft, motor vehicle robbery, and robbery all stayed consistent or dropped since Operation Rio Grande compared to previous months. Most non-serious offenses decreased, as well. Vandalism, drunkenness, disorderly conduct, loitering, and stolen property are either lower than the average of previous years or consistent with the averages of previous years.

However, the data shows an alarming uptick in rape. Forcible rape has been increasing steadily since 2013, jumping from 208 total reported rapes in 2013 to 335 in 2017. Comparing 2017 numbers before and after Operation Rio Grande, 30.4 rapes were reported every month on average from August-December compared to an average of 26.1 reported each month from January to July. This increase could possibly be attributed to increased reporting rather than increased instances of rape, with the #MeToo movement and increased education surrounding rape and sexual assault. Regardless, this certainly deserves more attention.

Drug abuse in Salt Lake City has been increasing drastically since 2013, but is experiencing a plateau. 2017 had 4,003 reported drug abuse instances compared to 3,986 in 2016, 2,827 in 2015, 2,619 in 2014, and 1,782 in 2013.

One Salt Lake Neighborhood Has Not Experienced a Drop

Every Salt Lake City neighborhood examined in our analysis saw its aggregate crime rates diminish or continue falling after Operation Rio Grande, with one exception. The Liberty-Wells neighborhood did not see similar drops. There, crime rates roughly plateaued or had a slight upward trend—though still below the 2016 peak. These trends are troubling and deserve more attention from Salt Lake City.

Other Cities Do Not Facilitate Public Review of Crime Data

The Pioneer Park Coalition also hoped to evaluate the claims in other cities that Operation Rio Grande may have led to an uptick in crime elsewhere. However, we were unable to evaluate these claims in West Valley City, Taylorsville, South Salt Lake, and Murray because of a lack of available data. Crime statistics for these cities either are not updated to the present or do not extend far enough for accurate analysis. This information needs to be made publicly available so citizens can do accurate research on crime in their neighborhoods and how it has changed.

While observational trends in crime data cannot answer every question, Salt Lake City’s statistics show that the city, far from being hurt by Operation Rio Grande, has seen significant positive changes in crime rates. Law enforcement still has work to do: Liberty-Wells has not seen the positive trends from other neighborhoods and the downtown area, while seeing a serious drop in crime, is still among Salt Lake’s two most dangerous neighborhoods.

Despite this, Operation Rio Grande appears to be making a difference in crime and having a positive impact on our city. This effort deserves significant credit.

[1] In this report, analyzed crimes or aggregated reported crime includes those activities most likely to be connected with Operation Rio Grande. This means both serious crime (aggravated assault, burglary, rape/sexual assault, homicide, larceny/theft, motor vehicle theft, and robbery) and non-serious crime (curfew/loitering, disorderly conduct, drug abuse, stolen property, vandalism, and drunkenness). Data collected from in February 2018.

[2] Pioneer Park Coalition analyzed data for crime in Salt Lake City from the neighborhoods of Ball Park, Central City, Central City/Liberty-Wells, Downtown, Fairpark, Greater Avenues, Liberty-Wells, Rose Park, and Sugar House. These neighborhoods were chosen because of complaints that crime is being pushed into their neighborhoods due to Operation Rio Grande. Downtown was chosen in order to analyze how crime had changed in the Rio Grande neighborhood.  Data was taken from each month from 2013 to 2017 to give perspective on changes in crime rates since Operation Rio Grande.

Now Hiring | Pioneer Park Coalition | Community Organizer & Impact Agent

The Pioneer Park Coalition is now hiring.We are seeking a Community Organizer and Impact Agent.

From our Executive Director:

“I’ve been at this job for over six months now but I still do not know most of you. That is a problem. To help address that, we are bringing someone on board to get out and visit you and learn your concerns so we can work together to make this neighborhood safer. Please pass along to anyone you think might be interested.”

David Garbett
Pioneer Park Coalition

Community Organizer and Impact Agent

The Pioneer Park Coalition is seeking a recent graduate to help organize residents and businesses in Salt Lake City’s Pioneer Park neighborhood to address public safety and to assist in its mission of positive impact.

What You Will Do

  • Contact residents and businesses in neighborhood to learn concerns
  • Help contact policy makers and law enforcement to address those concerns
  • Create systems to solve problems
  • Approach issues with compassion and an open-mind
  • Help transform this neighborhood into a safe, welcoming environment
  • Address some of the trickiest problems in our community

Why You Should Apply

  • You want to make a difference
  • You want to drive policy in one of the most important topics of the day
  • You enjoy working with people to solve problems
  • You want opportunity for growth and responsibilities

About the Pioneer Park Coalition

The Pioneer Park Coalition was formed four years ago to make Pioneer Park and its surrounding neighborhood safe for everyone. Along the way, we realized that this mission would mean advocating to improve homeless resources. Our efforts have helped to bring about significant change in the way those resources are provided. We hope to continue those improvements while driving impact for the better in this neighborhood.

Compensation – commensurate with experience but likely between $30,000 and $35,000.


  • Bachelor’s degree.
  • Ability to interact with others and to listen.
  • Desire to solve problems.

How to Apply – send cover letter and resume to as soon as possible. This posting will be open until the position is filled.

10 Great West Side Restaurants in Salt Lake City | Utah

Dining out is one of life’s great pleasures, so when you do it, be sure to do it right by eating somewhere fabulous.

When people usually think of great food in the Salt Lake Valley, they may automatically zone in on the typical downtown Salt Lake area, with Main Street at the center. But the west side of the valley has so many great things to offer.

The following list features 10 great west side restaurants in Salt Lake City.

10 Great West Side Restaurants in Salt Lake City

  1. Banzai

While its outer appearance gives the impression that it’s just an average Chinese restaurant, the food served at Banzai is anything but ordinary. Grab a chair at the sushi bar to discuss the cuisine with Chef Ozzie or sit down at a table and order one of the restaurant’s authentic dishes.

  1. Grinders 13

Located in West Valley’s warehouse district, Grinders 13 is one of those hidden gems that serves memorable sandwiches and yummy fries complete with their own tasty fry sauce.

Grinders 13 is a great west side restaurant in Salt Lake City

  1. Scaddy’s

If you’re the kind of person who enjoys fast food on occasion, then you’ll want to stop by Scaddy’s for lunch or dinner. With drool worthy burgers and unique dining selections like Swedish pancakes, Scaddy’s is a place that you’re sure to eat at more than once.

  1. Red Rock Place Restaurant & Brew Pub

Red Rock restaurant and pub in Salt Lake City

Famous for its quality brunch and fun atmosphere, Red Rock deserves a spot on our 10 great west side restaurants in Salt Lake City. At the Red Rock, you can order classic menu items like burgers and fries or fish and chips.

  1. New York Pizza Patrol

Believe it or not, traditional New York Pizza can be had in Utah at New York Pizza Patrol. Along with its delicious pizza, the eatery serves heroes, calzones and pasta dishes. You can even order boneless buffalo wings and garlic bread.

  1. La Frontera

While Utah boasts a number of amazing Mexican restaurants, La Frontera is one of the best. Homemade tortillas, tons of cheese and delicious chili verde will make your taste buds very happy.

La Frontera is a great restaurant on Salt Lake City's west side

  1. Thai This

Thai This is famous for its yellow curry, pot stickers and noodles. The restaurant is also known for serving large portions that are big enough to share. Attentive service, quality cuisine and a cozy atmosphere earned Thai This a spot on our list of great restaurants in Salt Lake City.

  1. CousCous Mediterranean Gourmet Grill

If you enjoy Mediterranean style food, then head over to the CousCous Mediterranean Grill. The restaurant makes its rosemary garlic bread from scratch, and the Chicken Shwarma served on leafy greens is just one of the restaurant’s notable dishes. A large selection of cake pops offers the perfect bite of dessert. This is a place that is sure to leave you feeling full and satisfied.

  1. The Bohemian Brewery

Breweries know how to cook. At the Bohemian Brewery, menu items like the Garlic Burger, Blackberry Brandy Chicken and classic Fish N’ Chips are cooked to perfection. Consider sharing a plate of garlic fries or the famous potato pancake appetizer.

  1. La Autentica

While the décor could use a little updating, you’re unlikely to notice it once you dive into the chips and salsa, which are free and tasty. With menu options that range from classic street tacos to burritos, La Autentica knows what people want when it comes to good Mexican food.

The next time you get a craving for good food, check out something on the Salt Lake Valley’s west side. You won’t be disappointed!

Meet the New Pioneer Park Coalition Board Leadership | Salt Lake City

The Pioneer Park Coalition Board is a group of like-minded individuals from all walks of life who have a vested interest in revitalizing the west side of Salt Lake City.

At a recent monthly meeting of the Pioneer Park Coalition Board, a new Executive Board was elected as PPC’s new leadership. We are excited to introduce you to them.

Meet the New Pioneer Park Coalition Board Leadership

Tiffanie Provost Price: Chair

Tiffanie is the owner of Axiom Properties, a real estate investment company, specializing in Salt Lake City commercial properties with small business tenants. She is President and founder of AxisT, an event equipment rental and retail business. Tiffanie received her BS in Economics from Westminster College.
Tiffanie has been involved with and worked around the Pioneer Park and Rio Grande area for many years. With the recent effort and issues involving Rio Grande, Tiffanie became an early member of the Pioneer Park Coalition.
She is on the Salt Lake County Collective Impact steering committee on Homelessness. She was a member of both the Salt Lake City’s Homeless Services Site Evaluation Commission and Mayor’s Biskupski’s transition committee.
Tiffanie lives in Salt Lake City with her husband, Steve. She has two sons and five step-children.

Dave Kelly: Vice Chair

If you missed our blog post highlighting PPC board member and new Vice Chair Dave Kelly, make sure you check it out here! You may get to see Dave in a whole new light…

James H Deans: Secretary & Legal Adviser

James Deans will be continuing on as the Pioneer Park Coalitions secretary and legal adviser.
Jim graduated from South Western University Law School in 1978.
He was a housing attorney for 39 years. He also served as a draftsman of housing legislation, past president of the Apartment Association, and was a consultant to the Russian Government on Housing Law in 1992.

Lynn Ames: Treasurer

Lynn joined CAPTRUST in 2017 when Knox Capital Group merged its wealth management practice with CAPTRUST. He has had a long and successful career in tax consulting.

Lynn spent seven years with Deloitte before becoming director of tax for Ballard Medical Products, a mid-size public company that was very active with mergers and acquisitions during his tenure. After assisting Ballard through a sale of its business, he joined Ernst & Young where he became tax partner and ran the tax practice for 13 years. During that time, Lynn worked with many of Utah’s largest companies.

Additionally, he has assisted many ultra-high-net-wealth clients purchase and exit businesses. Lynn is a firm believer that structuring tax-efficient transactions puts money in the hands of bright, visionary entrepreneurs who can use those funds to create great businesses, new jobs, and a stronger economy.


  • Baccalaureate of Art degree in accountancy from the University of Utah
  • Master of Professional Accountancy degree from the University of Utah


  • Certified Public Accountant


  • Chairman, Intermountain Research and Medical Foundation
  • Board of Trustees, Intermountain Central Region
  • Board of Trustees, Pioneer Park Coalition
  • Board of Trustees, University of Utah – Tanner Dance

The History of the Rio Grande Café in Salt Lake City | Utah

The Rio Grande Café began serving Mexican food in 1981, and since that time, it has remained locally owned and operated. Located in the historic Rio Grande Train Depot and offering Mexican fare in the form of enchiladas, tacos and chimichangas, the historic site provides patrons with a dining experience that is laid back and eclectic.The Rio Grande Cafe in Salt Lake City Utah

The History of the Rio Grande Café in Salt Lake City

An “Air Conditioned” Original

The Denver Rio Grande and Western Railroad service constructed the Rio Grande Depot in 1910 for $750,000. From the start, the owners billed the café as an “air conditioned” original. At the time, this feature was a profitable novelty, one that was, and still is, advertised via a pink neon sign installed over the café’s entryway. When you visit, you’re sure to notice the Taco Lady. Her painting is hung in the café’s dining room. The interior of the Rio Grande Café reflects a time when people ordered classic bottled Coca Cola while listening to tunes on the jukebox.

Historical photo of the Rio Grande Train Depot in Salt Lake City Utah

The Rio Grande Depot was a main travel hub in Utah, and it was designed to surpass the building constructed by the Union Pacific Depot a year earlier. The two stations echoed the fierce competition that was going on between D&RGW’s George Gould and UP’s E.H. Harriman, two well-known rail barons, at the time. Harriman wound up winning this competition since Gould wasted his family’s fortune building a rail line from Salt Lake City to San Francisco in a failed attempt to compete with Union Pacific. He completed the line, but it cost him his rail empire.

Construction of Rio Grande Depot in Salt Lake City Utah

An Architectural and Historic Treasure

As one of Utah’s most splendid structures, the building is currently the home of the Utah State Historical Society, which shares the space with the Rio Grande Café. According to locals, the building is haunted by the Purple Lady. Legend says that she was a jilted woman who was killed by a train when she attempted to retrieve a ring that fell onto the railroad tracks. People have reported seeing her in the women’s restroom of the café, and security guards have claimed to hear her footsteps when they’re in the station’s mezzanine.

Inside of the Rio Grande Depot in Salt Lake City Utah

Fusing the Past and the Present

The Rio Grande Café is the perfect blend of the past and the present with its historic architecture and tasty Mexican cuisine. Those who head to the eatery for lunch or dinner will be charmed by the ambiance and filled to the brim with good food.

Rio Grande Cafe dining room in Salt Lake City Utah